The Shadow of Narwyrm: (Rangers of Laerean, #3)
In the epic conclusion to the Shadows Trilogy of the Rangers of Laerean series, much lore from the ancient past is learned, while the shadow of the great Dragon Spirit, Narwyrm, looms over them all.
Best Book Bit:
He listened to the sound of the trickling sand, but soon realized it was not stopping. Tilting his head, he then also realized that it was not pouring sand he was hearing, but something moving across it.
“Ramura?” he called aloud. “Is that you?”
A mental voice came into his mind, but it was not the voice of Ramura. It was a hissing voice, like the sound of the wind in the trees.
“Ramura? Don’t tell me my old friend hasss come to visit,” said the blood-curdling, raspy voice. “I’ve not ssseen that old cat in many thousssandsss of yearsss.”
Baric realized that whatever it was, it was speaking to him in the same fashion as Ramura, telepathically. And the voice did not have a friendly tone, despite the fact it called Ramura an old friend.
“Who are you?” Baric asked.
There was a sudden burst of flame as several torches stuck into sconces along a stone wall behind him were ignited, seemingly on their own, and the room in which he now lay was opened wide to his vision. But it was not the room or its enormous size that captured Baric’s attention. It was the occupant.
Coiled in the center of the room was a gigantic, blood-red snake, its body over three feet thick. It had to be over thirty feet in length, but that was hard to determine as it was coiled like a spring, with its head rising above its body.
The head was enormous, nearly four feet in length, with a long snout that ended in an upturned set of huge nostrils. The bright-green eyes on that head, with the slit pupils of a serpent, gazed at him, looking down on him, while a red, forked tongue slithered in and out of its mouth. The thought did not escape him that a mouth such as that could easily swallow a man whole.
“I am Udak, ssson of Sssosssian, and Keeper of the Flame,” came the proud, sibilant voice within his mind. “Now, ssshort-eared creature, would you like to tell me who you are, before I make a meal of you? Your meat ssseemsss far more appealing than the ssscorpionsss and lizardsss of thissss desssert.”
“You’ll make no meal of this one, brother,” came the familiar voice of Ramura, as he walked into the light from the darkness, his white fur glowed in the light from the torches.
“Ahhh,” hissed Udak, turning his attention to Ramura. “Then you’re here after all. I’m sssurprisssed you ssstill live, old friend.”
“No more surprised than I that you have survived,” replied Ramura. “I see you’ve not changed much in all these millennia.”
“Why are you here?” asked Udak. “Why have you come to a placcce that died ssso long ago?”
“I could ask the same,” was Ramura’s reply, being understandably secretive and cautious.
Baric did not need a wild imagination to get the gist of their conversation. They were not friends, but enemies. Ancient enemies. Udak was another of the Mythica.
“Ssso,” Udak said in his hissing voice. “Are we to fight onccce again?”
“That depends on you, Udak. I’ve no desire to do you harm, but I also won’t be so foolish as to cozy up to a snake. Especially one who serves Narwyrm.”
Udak eyed Ramura for a moment, his eyes reflecting the malice and loathing he felt for Ramura. “You mussst be ssseeking sssomething, or you wouldn’t have entered the desssert to find thisss placcce. What do you hope to find among the dead?”
Ramura’s magic was the stronger of the two of them, and he could prevent Udak from telepathically hearing any communication he shared with Baric.
Ramura sent Baric a quick instruction, “Say nothing. He can’t be trusted. He serves our enemy.”
Ramura continued to allow Baric to hear the conversation between the two Mythica, and Baric kept silent, resting his aching ankle.
“First,” said Ramura to Udak, “tell me why you’re here. Why do you haunt these ruins?”
Udak made a sound that might have been a chuckle, but it was difficult to tell. “The world isss cold, I ssseek the warmth of the sssandsss. Nothing more.” Though Udak could not hear the thoughts of Baric and Ramura, he was aware of the mental barrier Ramura had established. “You’ve sssomething to hide from me, yesss?”
Baric suddenly felt the warmth of Ramura’s healing magic on his ankle and Ramura’s thought in his mind. “Prepare yourself, Ranger. We must fight.”
The Shadow of Narwyrm is an exciting climax of a wonderful series. Tom Fallwell has created a world where conflict and adventure keep the reader turning pages. He captures the human condition and the ever-present battle of good and evil. Thoroughly enjoyed all three books and recommend them to all ages. If you like fantasy and world-building, the Rangers of Laeraen series is a must-read.
Submitted by Michael R. Stern
The glorious end is the war against the dragon and his followers with scenes that take you to the heart of the battle. You can hear the drums and the cries of the soldiers. Death of crucial characters made me sigh. The Game of Thrones created in me that feeling. Bad things always happen to good people. What I did not remember was the incredible ability Tom Fallwell has to twist the worst events into a thing of beauty. Creativity and lots of close calls make the book impossible to drop.
Doomrage is the enemy a hero must have. The dragon's change of form and name fits the situation. Magic pushes the events into fast pace throughout the series.
Once again, good surpasses evil.
I want to follow Baric, Wolf, Sainsha and all the other endearing characters in the following books. I hope the next enemy can help them show out their lovable personalities. And lots of magic.
Sainsha becomes the most amazing character beside Baric. Her magic is the strongest, responsible for saving Baric's life more than once. I loved to see the humble and shy Zulmarian become a real sorceress. A strong female character with a wonderful male partner makes The Shadow of Narwyrm unforgettable.